bilk

verb
\ ˈbilk How to pronounce bilk (audio) \
bilked; bilking; bilks

Definition of bilk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to block the free development of : frustrate fate bilks their hopes
2a : to cheat out of something valuable : defraud bilking investors out of their life savings
b : to evade payment of or to bilks his creditors
c : to obtain (something) by defrauding someone The Tampa couple sent out phony sonograms and bilked money from couples wanting children, authorities say.— Brady Dennis
3 : to slip away from bilked her pursuers

bilk

noun

Definition of bilk (Entry 2 of 2)

: an untrustworthy tricky individual : cheat

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Other Words from bilk

Verb

bilker noun

Did You Know?

Verb

Initially, "bilking" wasn't considered cheating-just good strategy for cribbage players. Language historians aren't sure where "bilk" originated, but they have noticed that its earliest uses occur in contexts referring to cribbage. Part of the scoring in cribbage involves each player adding cards from his or her hand to a pile of discards called the "crib." At the end of a hand, the dealer gets any points in the crib. Strategically, then, it's wisest for the dealer's opponent to discard non-scoring cards-the ones most likely to "balk," or put a check on, the dealer's score. Etymologists theorize that "bilk" may have originated as an alteration of that card-game "balk."

Examples of bilk in a Sentence

Verb

an investigation revealed that the garage had been bilking motorists for repairs that had never been made

Noun

people who lost money in the scheme discovered that the investment company was a fake and the “owner” just a bilk

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Thousands of investors were bilked of more than $450 million. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "Jeffrey Epstein’s fortune is built on fraud, a former mentor says," 9 July 2019 Betner, prosecutors say, bilked investors out of $383,970 after claiming that Facebook was close to buying his company, Darepoint, in a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Man accused of stealing $400K by claiming his app was being sold to Facebook," 23 Mar. 2017 That company had been accused in lawsuits of bilking the federal government. oregonlive.com, "Kicked to the curb: How the state failed fragile mentally ill Oregonians," 22 June 2019 But Gervais, sentenced to six years and three months in prison Tuesday, bilked the woman of thousands of dollars and delayed a surgery the woman had planned, court records show. Ben Brasch, ajc, "‘It was all a lie:’ Fake doc who ran clinics for 15 years gets prison," 17 May 2018 Left-leaning groups have been among the biggest beneficiaries of cy pres, but even the Court’s liberals should be troubled when putative class-action victims are bilked by self-dealing corporations and plaintiff attorneys. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Class-Action ‘Charity’ Racket," 30 Oct. 2018 Baker’s comments come amid a broadening federal investigation into potential fraud inside the State Police, where prosecutors say three troopers allegedly bilked taxpayers out of tens of thousands of dollars in 2016 alone. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "State Police ‘conspiracy’ could go back years, Baker says," 30 June 2018 At a news conference in Washington, the agency said the development, known by names that include Sanctuary Belize, Sanctuary Bay and the Reserve, bilked about 1,000 investors, mostly Americans, out of over $100 million. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "FTC Alleges Major Real-Estate Scam," 8 Nov. 2018 Prosecutors allege Pam bilked the estates of most of the proceeds from the sale of the Sanford Street home by arranging a sham transaction in which his then-girlfriend, Jasmin Deangelo, purportedly purchased the property for $140,000 in April 2015. Laura Crimaldi, BostonGlobe.com, "Pam family members go on trial for allegedly scamming elderly siblings out of Mattapan home," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And, despite its super hinky backstory, a bronze behemoth of bilk is taking shape in Everett. Yvonne Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "Is gambling here to stay?," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bilk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bilk

Verb

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

1777, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bilk

Verb and Noun

perhaps alteration of balk entry 2

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Dictionary Entries near bilk

biliterate

bilith

biliverdin

bilk

bill

billabong

bill and coo

Statistics for bilk

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bilk

The first known use of bilk was in 1641

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More Definitions for bilk

bilk

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bilk

chiefly US, informal : to cheat or trick (a person or organization) especially by taking money

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More from Merriam-Webster on bilk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bilk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bilk

Spanish Central: Translation of bilk

Nglish: Translation of bilk for Spanish Speakers

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